Czech President calls on pope to extend Cardinal Duka’s mandate

Czech President Miloš Zeman sent a letter to Pope Francis on Wednesday requesting to extend Cardinal Dominik Duka’s mandate as archbishop of Prague.

The president reacted to an initiative of a hundred Catholic laymen who had petitioned Pope Francis not to extend the archbishop’s tenure, criticizing the church for alleged nationalist tendencies.

In his letter addressed to the Pope, Mr Zeman wrote that Cardinal Duka has contributed to removing barriers between the Church and State. He also mentioned Duka’s past as a political prisoner in Communist Czechoslovakia.

Cardinal Dominik Duka, who has been serving as Prague Archbishop since 2010, will have to officially submit his resignation in April, when he turns 75. I tis then up to the Pope whether he extends his mandate.